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Keywords:

  • biophilia;
  • caring;
  • conservation;
  • conservation biology;
  • conservation psychology;
  • environment;
  • motivating;
  • participation;
  • valuing

The success of zoos and aquariums as conservation centres depends on the holistic embrace of conservation, including acting as model citizen, wildlife conservationist, agent for conservation and mentor/trainer. Success also depends on truly reaching our audiences, from policy-maker to land manager to citizen, to help them care about and care for nature. In pursuing our conservation goal, we must acknowledge our general lack of experience in effectively changing the behaviour of these different audiences, which function at both the global and local level. To start with those closest to us, the visitors to our institutions, we should appreciate that we do not have deep understanding of the effect our business has on them by providing close-up experiences with a variety of animals. Nevertheless, by the caring ways in which we express biophilia and carry out particular conservation activities, our institutions can become transformative models, inspiring and motivating urban people around the globe to have a more harmonious and sustainable relationship with the natural world.